6 Tips and Tools for Finding The Best Hashtags

As an extension to a recent Facebook Live Video I did on my Facebook page (check out the video at the bottom of the page), I thought I’d share a little more on hashtags.

To many, it is one of the biggest challenges of social media and blog writing. These are the two questions I get asked the most:

Number 1: What hashtag should I use?

Number 2: Why are they SO important?

Let’s answer the 2nd question first.

Why are hashtags SO important?

You will find hashtags on almost all social media platforms.  It all started on Twitter, but are now common on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Anyone sharing content on any of these platforms needs to be using hashtags. Why?

Think of each of these platforms as a search engine like Google. When you type a keyword into Google Search, you are shown all the content on the web related to that keyword. It is similar with each of these social media platforms. Each is their own little search engine.

When you type in a keyword into the search bar, content related to that keyword is displayed – whether it is on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

If you want your content to show up (duh! of course, you do!), then you need to use hashtags containing the keywords that are most relevant to your business AND that specific post to show up.

More times you show up = more eyes seeing your stuff = more potential business for you!

What hashtag should I use?

This is the #1 question I am asked about blogging and social media marketing! Using the right hashtag is important to make sure your content is viewed by the right people. So these are the strategies I suggest you use:

Step 1: Use different hashtags for each platform.

This is because the audiences are often different, and are in different mindsets on the different platforms. Tailor your hashtags to each platform and where you think your ideal clients or customers might be in their buying cycle on these platforms.

Step 2: How many hashtags to include. 

Yes, there is a certain number of hashtags you should use on each platform. Each of them is different, so use this guide (which is the current ‘best practices’):

  • Twitter – 1 (maybe 2 max)
  • Instagram – 8 to 10
  • Facebook* – 2 to 3
  • LinkedIn – 2 to 3

*The jury is still out on how effective hashtags are on Facebook. Keep including them, but don’t expect a lot from them.

Step 3: Which hashtag keywords to use. 

The easiest method of finding hashtags that are relevant for your business is to look at other people! Take a look at your competitors, industry leaders, and your ideal client audience. What hashtags are they using?

Step 4: Don’t use super popular hashtags! 

I didn’t explain this well enough in my video, so want to make it clearer here.

The more popular the hashtag, the more content and competition there is for that hashtag. You are going to be competing against millions of other people for your content to be shown.

An example of this (from Instagram): I am going to post a photo of my Australian Cattle Dog – Sidney.

Searching for hashtag #dogsofinstagram there are 108,893,600 posts

Searching for #australiancattledog there are only 1,065,643 posts

So if I want my cute pic of my Australian Cattle Dog to have a better chance of being seen, I will use a hashtag that is more specific to the type of dog he is. The chances are much better of his pic showing up in the feed for that hashtag!
Sidney Australian Cattle Dog
Step 5: Find related hashtags.
Using the search function in Instagram, you can find alternative hashtags that are related to the keyword you are searching for. This will give you a bunch of ideas for hashtags that might work for your content. Make sure you check the number of posts for each hashtag and try to find ones that are lower in post numbers.
Step 1: Type in your hashtag into the search field.
Step 2: Click on the ‘tags’ tab to see all the alternative hashtags along with the number of posts for the hashtags.
Marketing search
Marketing hashtag search
Step 6: Resources/tools for researching hashtags.

There are quite a few very cool tools you can use to research hashtags and trends:

So hopefully this has been helpful to you in understanding why you need to be using hashtags when your posting on social media.

While we’re on the topic of hashtags, check out this post about 5 Tips to Leveling Up Your Instagram Game! 

I’d love to hear from you! What questions do you have for me about this or any other marketing topic? Comment below! And I’ll get right back to you!

Oh, and here is my ‘live’ video where I discuss all of this live!

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